Today is my birthday. (By the way, thank you to everyone who sent me messages today. It is nice to hear from friends when I’m so far away from home.) I am really not one to celebrate much, particularly something where I am the center of attention, such as my birthday. But my birthday directly relates to my New Year’s Resolutions. I have a lot of close friends who are January babies. Many of them, and I, have a unique approach to New Year’s Resolutions. Rather than beginning our resolutions on January 1st we begin on our birthdays. I suppose in reality you could do this with any birthdate or month, but for some reason this seems to be prevalent among my fellow January birthday buddies. I like this approach because it gives me a little extra time to determine my resolutions.
In reality I don’t tend to make New Year’s Resolutions, I make goals. Looking back on 2013 I feel as if I accomplished a fair amount. But I have a few more goals for the coming year. In reality my list is always evolving, but this is the final draft as of today:
1. Record at least 15 hours of academic writing per week. For the last several years I’ve aimed for two hours of academic writing (Research only. Blogs, emails, Facebook posts, Tweeting and anything written for a class or my Associate Chair position doesn’t count) per weekday. Since two hours a day has worked successfully and I have some lofty writing goals I want to accomplish this year I’ve decided it’s time to shoot for more.
2. Read 40 books. Last year I read 36 books. I think I can do better.
3. Get at least three journal articles accepted. I actually had six accepted last year, but that was because I had a lot of graduate students helping me. Since I’m on my own here in Botswana I am hoping to get three accepted and then finish an additional two.
4. Try one new recipe each week. I really enjoy cooking, but it is more of a challenge here than you might think. A few days ago I went to the store and my protein options were limited to ox tongue, chicken feet, and gizzards. Needless to say, the best recipe is often abandoned or drastically altered due to lack of inventory. But, I am determined to be creative in the kitchen.
5. Train like crazy to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. I was supposed to climb Kili in December, but due to illness I had to postpone it. This time around I am determined to avoid any colds, flus or other ailments by being as healthy as possible.
6. Never travel with luggage again. After my recent lost luggage incidents in South Africa and Ethiopia I would like to aim to travel with only my passport, credit card and toothbrush.
I’m not so sure how realistic that last goal is, but at least it will be an interesting challenge! Happy 2014 Everyone!